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Discovery - Research in the Archives

Recent years have witnessed the re-opening of archives chronicling the life and work of the monasteries and their inhabitants and the events up to and following their closure.

We wish to support research that includes examination of manuscripts of oral testimony concerning St Seraphim and the Sarov Monastery, contributing to the discovery of what happened to the Sarov monks and Sisters of the Monastery of Seraphim-Diveyevo after 1927. We wish to learn about the texts that were contained in the Sarov Monastery Library, thereby supporting research that will answer questions of great significance in this field of studies while access to the archives is possible.

After the closure of the Sarov Monastery in 1927 its library perished, but the collection of manuscripts was transferred to the State archives. Now held in two primary locations, this collection has been little studied or published, so the task of its description is both urgent and significant.

The Archive also contains texts that allow the study the prayer rule of the Sarov monks and their knowledge of the theology and history of the Church. It is also important to confirm that the Sarov Monastery held texts that allowed it to find out much about the Western spiritual tradition.


The purpose of this research is to find documents that refer to St. Seraphim's life and which also indicate his interests in reading, his intellectual world and documents about the life of the monastery during St. Seraphim's time and the people whom he knew.


The results of the research will restore the epoch and environment of St. Seraphim and clarify the intellectual and spiritual formation that he acquired in the monastery.


Preliminary research has been undertaken to determine the extent of the resources, where they are held and to begin to identify a network of scholars with the necessary background to work in this field.

Manuscripts removed from Monastery Libraries at the time of their closure in 1926.
Maps dating back to the 16th century.
Music that was saved and sung by secret churches during the Soviet era .
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